The NFL Celebrates its 100th Anniversary in Week 1 with a Bold Start

The last three months of the year are always the most exciting of the NFL as it builds up to the globally renowned Super Bowl. In 2019, what players do you think will make the headlines? Which teams will cause some real upset? And what team might take a shocking downward spiral?

This season it seems the Cleveland Browns will be the team to watch out for, though they lost their first game to the Tennessee Titans, the Browns have acquired wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr and with OBJ alongside growing NFL sensation Baker Mayfield, it’s a duo that should have every team concerned. Mayfield reported that he is confident that his side will bounce back from the loss they suffered at FirstEnergy Stadium against the Titans and rally together to head back to the top.

Here are some of the other stories from the NFL’s opening week.

A Deflating Defeat for The Chicago Bears on The Opening Day of NFL 2019

The Chicago Bears kicked off the new NFL season against the Green Bay Packers on September 5th but it wasn’t the kind of start the Bears wanted to open the season with. However, they shouldn’t worry too much as the opening week of NFL games never seem to rightly dictate a team’s performance throughout the season.

Take the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for example, in Week 1 last year they started in outstanding form, defeating the New Orleans Saints 48-40 at the Superdome. Ryan Fitzpatrick, who scored four touchdowns and a throw from over 400 yards was being crowned as the Bucs be all and end all and yet by the end of the season the Saints topped the South division and the Bucs finished last, with a winning percentage difference of 500.

It also shouldn’t be forgotten that the Bears have recorded more NFL victories than any other franchise, so they shouldn’t be ruled out just yet. They have three All-Pros in Khalil Mack, Kyle Fuller and Eddie Jackson, and though their offense needs some tweaking, there’s no doubt they could reproduce the success of 2018. Expectations are high for this team in the new season, with fans and football enthusiasts hoping to see Mitch Trubisky take the next step as well as linebacker, Leonard Floyd. Floyd made head-turning efforts last season and head coach Ted Monachino thinks he could outdo Mack as the Bears’ best pass rusher; if he does the Bears defence will be more fearsome than ever. Either way, the Bears still have time to work it out but the pressure is on.

Oakland Raiders Put Questions and Criticism to Bed

The Raiders got off to a sublime start in the opening week, crushing the Denver Broncos 24-16 and creating lots of reason for optimism as the new season gets underway. Last season, it was evident that the Raiders suffered from the loss of Khalil Mack, who is set to face his former team in London during the International Series but with Clelin Ferrell as the new defensive tackle, faith has been restored. The rookie made a productive and promising start for his side and in teaming up with Johnathan Abram, the two made some big moves to hinder their opposition last week.

Derek Carr was also incredible as per, not only was the quarterback untouchable but he completed 22 of his 26 passes for 259 yards and a touchdown. Understandably, Denver’s Von Miller wasn’t happy with himself over this at all. The games standout player though was Josh Jacobs, who, according to ESPN has made history in his NFL debut for the Raiders. The rookie has been dominating headlines with his impressive performance, as he amassed 113 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns. That’s what you would call being in beast mode.

The Broncos failed to record a single sack in the game, which hasn’t happened for their team since 2017. Kolton Miller and Trent Brown’s offensive tackles definitely played part in this as it helped to open up space for Jacobs to breakthrough. And to think the Raiders did this all without Gabe Jackson and Richie Incognito. UK fans you’re in for a treat when The Raiders show out in London.

Carolina Panthers Rank at No.15 Going into Week 2

Though the Panthers lost their first game to the Los Angeles Rams, they did well to push the Super Bowl runners-up and come away from the game with a nail-biting 3-point difference. The Rams are favourites for landing a place in the season’s final and as they have their eyes set on the Super Bowl, it won’t be getting any easier for them on the field. They’ll host the Saints at the Coliseum in Week 2, for a rematch of the NFC title game but don’t be fooled by their opponents, the Rams have an explosive offense.

The Panthers on the other hand, will have to work hard to ensure they don’t finish 0-2 in Week 2, though they shouldn’t be too hard on themselves, given their solid performance against the Rams. Tomorrow, they host their Southern rivals, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have also lost their first game of the season 17-31 to the San Francisco 49ers. The Panthers are down as the favourites and given that they have been victorious in five of their last six games against the Buccaneers, there’s no reason they can’t claim a sixth win. The Bucs currently reside at No.30, so have much more to worry about than their NFC neighbours.

The Bucs will want to watch out for the Panthers running back Cam McCaffrey, who played 100% of the Panthers 67 snaps. Whether it’s rushing or receiving, McCaffrey is exciting us all. In the game against the Rams, he had 19 carries for 128 yards, two touchdowns and ten catches for 81 yards! Offensive tackle, Greg Little is also set to make his debut having passed the concussion protocol and if we go off his performance in preseason, he looks more than capable.

Questions are still lingering over quarterback Cam Newton and his throwing ability after the surgery on his shoulder. It has been reported that his throwing arm is fine but statistics state that he only threw the ball over 20 yards once in the game against the Rams, so fans will be searching for that powerful throw in the next game. Will he able to silence the critics tomorrow? We’ll have to wait and see but we hope so because we’re dying to see more of his feel-good celebrations that have become so iconic.

Chicago Bears: Mike Trubisky

Mitch Trubisky taken by Camrongood

There’s no denying that the NFL kicked off its 100th anniversary with a bang and pro football has much to celebrate at this milestone. Some teams suffered huge defeats like the Miami Dolphins in their game against the Baltimore Ravens, which saw the game conclude 10-59. For the Ravens it was happy days, they made a miraculous start, scoring three touchdowns in the space of 11 minutes and continued to stun all those watching. How far can they go this season?

Other games were much more harrowing to watch. Like the Buccaneers, or even more so, the Cincinnati Bengals who missed out on a victory by just two points! Imagine being so close. They lost to the Seattle Seahawks 21-20 and as the game drew to an end, it seemed that even the Seahawks were in disbelief at the impressive level of football the Bengals had delivered. And just think, if the Bengals had signed Antonio Brown after he was released from the Raiders, they would have been an even bigger force to be reckoned with. Either way, the Bengals have made a statement in Week 1 and against a strong team too so keep your eyes out for this team because they may be one to cause some upset.

To all our UK fans who can’t get across the Atlantic, or any fans wanting to see the NFL action somewhere a little different, we’ve got you covered. Witness the action first-hand with the four games headlining in London at Wembley and the new state-of-the-art Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and be a part of NFL’s centennial landmark.

NFL: Top Ten Facts Ahead of Its Return to London in October 2019

The NFL returns to London for its International Series and its sure to be a sell-out event once again as it continues to grow in popularity and interest on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. The global NFL brand has really made an impression in the UK and now, in its 12th year, fans can look forward to four games in Britain’s capital — but there’s a lot more that you may not know about the NFL.

  1. The Green Bay Packers of Wisconsin were the first American Football Team to win the very first Super Bowl, which was held in Los Angeles, California on January 15th 1967. At that time, it was known as the NFL-AFL Championships. The Green Bay Packers destroyed AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, 35-10 and went on to win the Superbowl the following year too.
  2. The last NFL London Series in 2018 had a record attendance of 85,870 people. Held at the iconic Wembley Stadium, visitors got to witness the Philadelphia Eagles defeat the Jacksonville Jaguars, 24-18.
  3. In 2019, the NFL London Series will stage four games in London for the first time in its history. Two will be held at Wembley Stadium and the other two at the new state-of-the-art Tottenham Hotspurs Stadium.
  4. Unfortunately, around 3,000 cows are needed to supply the NFL with enough leather for a year’s supply of footballs.
  5. Player names weren’t placed on the back of football jerseys until the late 1960/70s. Rumour has it that this was to increase the publicity of players and make them easier to identify by viewers watching games on the TV.
  6. The 1970s Pittsburgh Steelers are the only team to have won two Superbowl games back-to-back twice! First in 1974 and 1975, then in 1978 and 1979. The Steelers, to this day are considered one of, if not the most dominant team in American football history.
  7. The average NFL career length is only three years long! However, players that have at least one Pro Bowl appearance tend to quadruple this figure, averaging a career length of just under 12 years.
  8. 1943 was the year of the Steagles. The Philidelphia Eagles and the Pittsburgh Steelers had to combine to form one team in the 1943 NFL season due to the second world war. The majority of both team’s contracted players had left for military service on government orders. Surprisingly, the newly merged Steagles performed very well, finishing the season with a winning record at 5-4-1.
  9. In 2009, James Brown signed a 5-year $37.5million contract, making him the highest-paid center in NFL at the time, only to walk away from it five years later with no more than $26million. Brown left the St. Louis Rams and dismissed a contract with the Carolina Panthers for his love of farming, which he said was God’s path for him. He learnt how to farm by watching YouTube videos and since then has donated tons of produce to local farm banks.
  10. Technically, the first time the NFL was hosted in London was in 1986, for a preseason game between the Chicago Bears and the Dallas Cowboys. The Chicago Bears defeated the Dallas Cowboys 17-6 in what was then called the “American Bowl”.

Wembley Stadium Facts and Fixtures

Wembley Facts

Wembley Stadium the home of football and an iconic venue for many other sports events. The Stadium has a 90,000 capacity and no doubt that those 90,000 seats are completely filled when some of sports best fixtures take place there.

The home of football fixtures:

  • FA Cup Final and Semi Finals
  • The Football League Cup Final
  • The FA Community Shield
  • The Football League Play Off Finals

With America taking the top spot for the largest sporting Stadium, Wembley sits around 16th place in the world’s biggest stadiums. Camp Nou fronting just 5 places above. Overall in the UK Wembley is the biggest stadium and an iconic venue for sports fans to tick off their bucket list.

With a structure like no other, Wembley’s famous arch can be identified from all over the UK’s capital. If your in Oxford street keep an eye out for the Wembley arch.

A moment England won’t forget; when the three lions played Germany in the 1966 World Cup at Wembley. Football certainly came home that year after England’s 4-2 win. This World Cup was the first and still to this date the only World Cup England have won.

You definitely won’t go hungry at this stadium with a whopping 688 outlets for your drinks and food needs, additionally 98 kitchens.

The Euro 2020 are fast approaching and Wembley Stadium is set to host 7 matches, including the biggest match of the tournament, the final. Additionally, the stadium will also host both semi finals. Hopefully the London Stadium will see England later in the tournament, after their previous form in Russia, which saw them get to the last round of the World Cup .

2019 Fixtures

Wembley continues to host the FA Cup semi finals and finals. These three fixtures are always a sell out event and the 90,000 fans provide a buzzing atmosphere to the games. Last year’s final was one not to be missed as it was goal galore for Manchester City after they beat Watford 6-0. Be there this year to witness the two Premier League teams fight it out to take home the FA Cup trophy.

The Carabao Cup final will also take place at Wembley in March next year. The Carabao Cup showcases the English league talent, with current holder Manchester City winning the Cup earlier this year against Chelsea. This tournament is also known as the EPL Cup and is held at Wembley each year.

In 2019 Wembley host the Qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2020. England v Bulgaria will be the first fixture in England’s qualifying stages, with England v Montenegro as their second. After England’s ever so close spell in the final at the last World Cup #itscominghome, fans will be hoping to see some great football play in the Euros from the home side.

NFL comes back to London for another time round. Cincinnati Bengals v Los Angeles Rams is the first fixture to play at Wembley later followed by Houston Texans v Jacksonville Jaguars. The huge buzz around American football arrives in London which is promised to be an exhilarating game.

The women’s England squad arrive at Wembley in September to play Germany in a friendly. The last time both teams met in 2015 World Cup was a great finish for England as they took a 1-0 win at the Common Wealth Stadium in Canada, taking 3rd place.

If you are interested in attending an event at Wembley Stadium please call our team on 020 7989 6500 or simply visit our Wembley Stadium Hospitality.

Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks to Kick-Start the NFL’s New Deal with Tottenham

An exciting new era of sport looks set to grace Tottenham Hotspurs’ new stadium in October as two of America’s signature NFL sides lock horns in the brand new state-of-the-art arena.

The NFL announced their London fixtures on Thursday 11th January for 2018 with the Oakland Raiders playing host to the Seattle Seahawks in Week Six of the NFL’s 2018/19 season.

Having won the Super Bowl on three separate occasions, the Raiders will certainly represent a formidable opponent for the Seahawks, who themselves claimed the coveted accolade in 2014.

The teams play host to some of the biggest names in the NFL with honourable mentions including quarterbacks Derek Carr and Russell Wilson as well as running back Marshawn Lynch and cornerback Richard Sherman.

The hotly anticipated NFL London 2018 fixture is set to mark the start of an exciting 10-year partnership between Spurs and the NFL.

The game will represent the NFL’s inaugural game at the new London venue – a setting which will feature an array of impressive purpose-built facilities.

The deal, which was initially announced in 2015, will see regular season games staged at Spurs’ new stadium from 2018 onwards. The new state-of-the-art arena, scheduled to officially open in the summer, will feature a retractable grass field with an artificial surface underneath, a feature which has been created specifically for NFL games. Customised designs for the NFL, including a dedicated entrance, purpose-built dressing rooms as well as media and medical facilities will also prominently feature.

Tottenham Hotspur Chairman, Daniel Levy, stated his delight at the deal and the progress made by the Club recently by saying: ‘This is a milestone year for the Club as look ahead to the opening of our new stadium and all that it will bring to the area of Tottenham.

‘The NFL will bring a whole new audience to the local area, showcase Tottenham and bring further economic and social benefits with truly global coverage and attraction’.

Tottenham’s temporary home, the Wembley Stadium, will also play host to the NFL this year, with the Jacksonville Jaguars facing the Philadelphia Eagles and the LA Chargers hosting the Tennessee Titans. The two exciting fixtures will commence on the weekends of October 21st and 28th respectively. It certainly makes for a thrilling International season!